The Iron and their traveling support face a 402-mile-round journey for the away trip to Gillingham’s Priestfield Stadium on Tuesday night.MEMS Priestfield…
Renamed the MEMS Priestfield for sponsorship purposes, the ground holds just over 11,500 fans. It has been the home of Gillingham since 1893, although it has been heavily redeveloped since 1997.
The Medway Stand is the pick of the bunch, running alongside of the pitch and it has been there since 2000. A two-tiered all-seated development, it holds the executive boxes as well as the changing rooms, club shop and offices.
Opposite the Medway is the Gordon Road Stand, which is smaller, partly covered and contains pillars, as well as the TV gantry.
Behind one goals is the single-tiered Rainham End, opposite the Brian Moore Stand, named after the former TV presenter and commentator who was also a lifelong fan of the Kent club. This stand is a temporary development, which has been in place for over a decade. It’s also where the away fans are housed and it can hold up to 1,500 fans. It’s shared with the home fans and, while it has a good view of the field, it is left uncovered so bring a raincoat.
Getting there by car…
The drive to Kent takes around three hours and 45 minutes, so give yourself a good four-and-a-half to five hours so you can stop for a rest in between.
Here’s the full instructions on how to get there from the home of the Iron.
Departing from Glanford Park, take the first exit at the roundabout by Tesco’s onto Doncaster Road, then continue to the next roundabout, taking the first exit again onto the M181, heading towards Humber Bridge/Doncaster/M180.
After two miles, keep left at the fork, following signs toward Hull/Grimsby/M180/Airport and merge onto the M180, exiting six miles later at junction four, onto the A15 towards Scunthorpe/Lincoln/Brigg/A18.
At the roundabout around 0.2 miles later, take the third exit onto the A15. Go through the next two roundabouts and continue for 20 miles. At the next roundabout, take the third exit onto the A46, proceeding through the next four roundabouts.
Seven miles later, at the Hykeham roundabout, take the second exit and stay on A46.
Go through the next two roundabouts before you arrive at another roundabout in around nine miles’ time. This time take the second exit onto the A1 ramp toward Grantham/Balderton.
Merge onto the A1, continuing for just under 47 miles, where you will continue onto the A1(M), where you will see signs for London. 12 miles later, continue onto the A14, proceeding for 15.8 miles.
Continue onto the M11, towards signs for London. 42 miles later take the M25 exit towards Dartford/Watford/M1/M20. 0.2 miles later, at junction six, exit onto the M25 towards M20/M23/Dartford/Gatwick Airport, where you may come across a toll.
Continue for just under 17 miles and continue onto the A282, where you could come across another toll road. After 4.1 miles, Merge onto the A2 via the ramp, going to Canterbury. Nine miles later, exit onto Hasted Rd/A289 toward A228/Gillingham/Grain. Continue to follow the A289 and ignore the turn off for Gillingham town centre, until you reach the Strand roundabout a mile later.
Turn right at this roundabout, go up the hill and over the level crossing. Take the second left past the crossing into Linden Road and you will see the MEMS Priestfield on the right.
The area around the ground is a parking only scheme for residents so street parking is only available around ten minutes’ walk away. On Railway Street near the station, there’s a pay and display car park which is a very reasonable £1.40 for four hours.
Getting there by train...
Iron fans face nearly a five hour journey to Gillingham train station. It's certainly not a journey you'll be able to make in one day with it being a Tuesday night match.
You will need to change four times and the journey could cost just short of £100, according to National Rail. From the station, catch the Scunthorpe to Lincoln train service, getting off at Doncaster, and then get the train to London King’s Cross, arriving in the capital at 11:09.
Leave King’s Cross station, walking across the road to London St Pancras International station and get the tube on the Victoria Line to Victoria Station. According to Gillingham FC, four trains depart from Victoria towards Gillingham per hour.
They leave at five past the hour and 25 minutes to the hour, with slower services leaving Victoria at ten past the hour and 20 minutes to the hour. The faster journey takes 50 minutes, while the slower one takes one hour and ten minutes.
Once you arrive in Gillingham, you have a ten minute work. Coming out of the station, turn left and onto Balmoral Road and walk for around five minutes until you come to the end. Opposite, you will see Priestfield Road, the away turnstiles should be located at the top of the road.
Pubs And Grub...
There is a nearby pub five minutes’ walk from the away turnstiles called the Livingstone Arms. It’s a useful establishment with a beer garden and a mix of home and away supporters. It has a friendly atmosphere and is situated on Gillingham Road. There are also other pubs further in town walking distance from the ground. Food-wise, there’s a fish and chip shop opposite the Livingstone Arms and the Southern Belle Cafe opposite the train station is highly spoken of, while the club’s pies are also recommended by other visiting fans.
What To Expect...
MEMS Priestfield Stadium is a modernised but traditional stadium. It is two-tiered in parts and it is pleasing on the eye. One stand, where the away fans are housed, is only a temporary development, although it has been in place for over a decade now. The away stand, which holds up to 1,500 supporters, is also lacking a roof, so if it’s a rainy Saturday afternoon, bring a raincoat and be prepared to get wet. The lack of roofing can also affect the atmosphere but it makes an enjoyable day out for the fans of the Claret and Blue.
In terms of parking, the surrounding areas, of the ground is permit holders only but on Railway Street near the train station, there’s a pay and display car park which is a very reasonable £1.40 for four hours.
Enjoy the game!
Address: Gillingham Football Club, MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Redfern Avenue, Gillingham, Kent, ME7 4DD.
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